The Atlantean Symbolism of the Egyptian Temple - 2. Atlantis

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    These Nagas symbolize the Cosmic Pillars that support the world, and which are the Eastern counterparts of the Titan Atlas. The reference to Atlas suggests an undeniable connection with Atlantis.

    The Wat rises in three concentric enclosures that define three courtyards, as in the Jewish and the Egyptian temples discussed above. The symbolic meaning of the Wat pyramidal complex is clear to specialists. It corresponds to the Polar Mountain (Meru), the hub of the universe. The central shrine corresponds, as in Borobudur, to the supreme reality, while the lower levels, the gate complex, the cloister, the city of Angkor and the outer world represent, in descending order, the outer shells of reality. The orientation of Angkor Wat towards the West represents the fact that it was a mortuary temple.

    The Angkor Thom is even more grandiose than Angkor Vat. Like its predecessor, it replicates the sacred city of Paradise (Lanka), built upon the slopes of Mt. Meru. The city was in turn, also a symbolic replica of the Cosmos, on whose shape it was designed. This symbolic universe follows Hindu Cosmological doctrines. When possible, the kings of Angkor utilized natural hills for the construction of their holy cities. When this was impossible, they built artificial mountains in the shape of stepped pyramids like the beauttiful ones of Angkor Thom and Angkor Vat.

    The central pyramidal complex of Angkor Thom, the Bayon, is the biggest though not by all means finest of them all. Within the moats of Angkor Thom, fully 16 km around, lie the huge complexes of buildings and of barays (dams), lakes and irrigation channels that formed the sacred city, its temples, houses and palaces.

    The plan and conception of angkor Thom are both grandiose. But the execution pressed by the huge size and the enormity of the work to be done is somewhat poorer than the refined art of its predecessors such as Angkor Vat and others. The plan of Angkor Thom illustrates the creation of the Cosmos darting from the Center (Mt. Meru), and spreading in successive waves from it. This plan is based in the Cosmogonic myth known as The Churning of the Ocean of Milk and, even more exactly, in the lotus-like mandalas such as the beautiful Shri Yantra.19

    The two monumental roads leading to the central tower of Angkor Thom are lined with a mile-long road of divine personages pulling on the body of the Serpent Shesha (Vasuki) in a giant tug-of-war, exactly as in the myth just mentioned. The serpent is coiled around the Polar Mountain (Meru) that served as the giant churning stick activated by the devas and the asuras. The two parties pull on opposite sides of the churning rope which consists of the immensely long body of the Serpent Shesha. Below, at the bottom, lies the Turtle (Kurma), that represents the Paradise sunken to the bottom of the Ocean of Milk in consequence of the war.


    The Paradisial Fountains of Life

    The complex of Angkor Thom is also decked with lakes and ponds and fountains representing the healing waters of Paradise (called Barays). These symbolize the Fountains of Life that are the central feature of Paradise everywhere. Another important myth illustrated in Angkor is the Legend of the Leper King and his magic healing by means of these wondrous waters which are no other than the Elixir.

    This ancient Hindu myth somehow passed into Christianity, where the Leper King is identified with King Abgarus and his magic healing is attributed to the Holy Sudary, the actual image of Christ obtained by equally magical means. There can be no doubt that the legend of the Leper King originated in the Indies. There it dates from times well before the advent of Christianism as a religion on its own. This serves to prove the force of diffusion of myths, legends and religions traditions from earliest times and from the most remote regions of the world.





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